2011 – a personal overview

31. 12. 2011 | Rubriky: Articles,Best of Year,Feature

[by Ken Hunt, London] What a year for music! The number of events of 2011 on this list is greedy by most annual polls’ standards. One of the continual difficulties for me is that, because I am writing in a variety of periodicals and newspapers across a variety of musical genres for a number of territories, wonderful stuff just gets continually squeezed out. I mean, in this brave new world of world music, nobody wants ten roots-based Czech or Hungarian albums or Indian classical or English or even European folk albums…

2011 was marked by losses in the world of music. It started off with the deaths of the singers Bhimsen Joshi and Suchitra Mitra. Keeping to that subcontinental frame of mind, as the year crunched on, the rudra vina virtuoso Asad Ali Khan, the film-maker Mani Kaul, the ghazal and more maestro Jagjit Singh, Assam’s treasure Bhupen Hazarika and the sarangi player Sultan Khan died. Mauritania’s songstress supreme, Dimi Mint Abba and the Cape Verdean singer Cesária Évora, and the song creators Franz Josef Degenhardt and Ivan ‘Magor’ (Madman) Jirous died. And particularly heartfelt for me, there were the deaths of three mainstays of the British folk revival and scene – Mike Waterson, Ray Fisher and Bert Jansch (and then Loren Jansch). And last, there was Václav Havel’s death, not long after Ivan Jirous’s death.

New releases

Amira / Amulette / World Village
Asha Bhosle & Shujaat Khan / Naina Lagaike / Saregama
Kristian Blak & Yggdrasil / Travelling / Tutl
Eliza Carthy / Neptune / Hem Hem
Andrew Cronshaw / The Unbroken Surface of Snow / Cloud Valley Music
Steve Earle / I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive / New West Records
Arun Ghosh / Primal Odyssey / Camoci
Jayanthi Kumaresh / Mysterious Duality / EarthSync
Laura Marling / A Creature I Don’t Know / Virgin
Tommy McCarthy / Round Top Wagon / ITCD http://www.tinfolkmusic.com/www.tinfolkmusic.com/Thomas_McCarthy.html
Christy Moore / Folk Tale / Sony Music (Ireland)
Nørn / Urhu / own label / www.norn.ch
Llio Rhydderch and Tomos Williams / Carn Ingli / Flach
Mike Seeger and Peggy Seeger / Fly Down Little Bird / Appleseed
Jyotsna Srikanth / Carnatic Jazz / Swathi Soft Solutions
Ági Szalóki and Gergő Borlai / Kishúg / Folk Európa Kiadó
June Tabor / Ashore / Topic
June Tabor & Oysterband / Ragged Kingdom / Topic
Trembling Bells / The Constant Pageant / Honest Jon’s

Historic releases, reissues and anthologies

Peter Bellamy / Merlin’s Isle of Gramarye / Talking Elephant
Z.M. & Z.F. Dagar / Ragini Miyan ki Todi / Country & Eastern
Grateful Dead / Europe ’72 Vol. 2 / Grateful Dead Productions
Grateful Dead / Europe ’72: The Complete RecordsWembley Empire Pool, London, England 4/8/72 / Grateful Dead Productions
Home Service / Live 1986 / Fledg’ling
The Kinks / Something Else By The Kinks / Sanctuary
Muzsikás / Fly Bird Fly / Nascenti
Ravi Shankar / Reminiscence of North Vista / East Meets West Music
Ravi Shankar / Orchestral Experimentations / East Meets West Music
Leon Rosselson / The World Turned Upside Down / PM Press/Fuse Records
M.S. Subbulakshmi / Surdas Bhajans / Charsur Digital Workstation
Traffic / John Barleycorn Must Die (Deluxe) / Universal
Various Artists / The Complete Pakeezah / Saregama
Various Artists / The Rough Guide to English Folk / World Music Network
Various Artists / Antologie moravské lidové hudby/Traditional Folk Music in MoraviaHorňácko / Indies
Various Artists / Antologie moravské lidové hudby/Traditional Folk Music in MoraviaDolňácko I / Indies
Various Artists / A Népzenét‹l a Világzenéig 1 From Traditional to World Music / Folk Európa Kiadó / Folk Európa Kiadó
Various Artists / A Népzenét‹l a Világzenéig 2 From Traditional to World Music / Folk Európa Kiadó
Various Artists / A Népzenét‹l a Világzenéig 3 From Traditional to World Music / Folk Európa Kiadó
Hedy West / Ballads and Songs from the Appalachians / Fellside

Events of 2011

‘The Contenders’ – Sam Lee, Emily Portman, Massie and Alex Nielson / Queen Elizabeth Hall, London / 14 January 2011
Archie Fisher / Twickfolk, The Cabbage Patch, Twickenham, Middlesex / 15 January 2011
‘A Tribute to Ustad Ali Akbar Khan’ – Alam Khan / Darbar Festival, Hall One, Kings Place, London / 23 April 2011
Marry Waterson & Oliver Knight / Royal Oak, Lewes, Sussex / 5 May 2011
The Folk Jukebox / Royal Festival Hall, London / 7 May 2011
‘Flying Man (Pakshi-Manab): Poems for the 21st Century’ – Mukal Ahmed, Munira Parvin, William Radice, Idris Rahman and Zoe Rahman / Conference Centre, British Library, London / 17 May 2011
Ravi Shankar / 21 June 2011 / Barbican Hall, London
Nørn / Tanz&FolkFest Rudolstadt, Stadtkirche, Rudolstadt / 3 July 2011
Aruna Sairam / BBC Proms Prom 17: World Routes Academy, Royal Albert Hall, London / 27 July 2011
‘Masters of Percussion’ – Zakir Hussain (tabla) with Rakesh Chaurasia (bansuri), Ganesh Rajagopalan (violin), Sridar Parthasarathy (mridangam and kanjira), Navin Sharma (dholak) and T.H.V. Umashankar (ghatam) / London Jazz Festival, Royal Festival Hall, London / 11 November 2011
Peggy Seeger / Folk Union, Hall Two, Kings Place, London / 18 November 2011

Images: Aruna Sairam and Hari Sivanesan on vina © Santosh Sidhu/Swing 51 Archives. Otherwise the images are © their image-makers, photographers and designers.

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